NCAA Football

Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah Scores Game-Winning 58-Yard TD vs. McNeese State

Senior running back Ameer Abdullah has been a huge part of the Nebraska Cornhuskers offense over the years, so it's only appropriate that he stepped up for his team on Saturday when needed most.

With his team tied against McNeese State late in the fourth quarter, Abdullah danced, juked and swerved his way to a 58-yard game-winning touchdown. Here's the entire play that ended in the huge score.

Will Brinson from CBS Sports tweeted a picture to show just how close Abdullah was to going down.

[Vine, Twitter]

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Watch Blake Sims Break Two Defenders' Ankles on This Sick Run

The Alabama Crimson Tide took on Florida Atlantic this week. Check out Alabama quarterback Blake Sims make two sick moves on his way to a nice gain for the Crimson Tide offense.

Is Sims the real deal? Watch the video and let us know!

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Cold Hard Fact for Saturday, September 6, 2014

Fact: Since 1966, the Michigan State Spartans are 5-0 as a Top 10 team versus a Top 10 opponent.

Bleacher Report will be bringing sports fans the most interesting and engaging Cold Hard Fact of the day, presented by Coors Light.

Source: ESPN Stats & Info

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Mississippi State DE Preston Smith Makes Beautiful 1-Handed Interception

Considering he's a 270-pound defensive end, that's one heck of an interception.

During their game against UAB, Mississippi State senior Preston Smith was dropping back in coverage when he made an incredible one-handed interception, the first of his college career.

[Vine, Twitter]

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Oregon Football Reveals 'Sonic Boom' Helmet and All-Yellow Uniforms vs. MSU

The Oregon Ducks have a huge matchup against the Michigan State Spartans on Saturday night, and as always, they're coming out in some sharp uniforms.

For Saturday's game, the Ducks will be wearing their "Sonic Boom" helmets as their high-powered offense takes on Michigan State and their "No Fly Zone." The rest of the uniform is yellow with some silver on the gloves.

The Ducks also posted these close-ups of the uniforms on Instagram.

[Twitter, Instagram]


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USC vs. Stanford: Live Score and Highlights

Stanford 10, USC 7—Halftime

No. 14 USC is battling No. 13 Stanford in an important early-season Pac-12 matchup.

ABC is carrying the meeting, and Bleacher Report is providing live scoring updates and in-game analysis. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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USC vs. Stanford: Live Score and Highlights

Stanford 10, USC 7—Mid 3rd Quarter No. 14 USC is battling No. 13 Stanford in an important early-season Pac-12 matchup. ABC is carrying the meeting, and Bleacher Report is providing live scoring updates and in-game analysis...

Read the full article on Bleacher Report...

Central Michigan Punter Ron Coluzzi Gets Trucked on Attempted Tackle vs. Purdue

The Central Michigan Chippewas have played quite well on Saturday against the Purdue Boilermakers, but their punter might think twice before he tries to tackle another returner.

During the first quarter, Central Michigan punter Ron Coluzzi tried to tackle Purdue's Frankie Williams, but instead got completely trucked over.

[Twitter, Lost Lettermen]

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Tennessee's Josh Smith Hurdles over Arkansas State Defender

The Tennessee Volunteers are starting the season strong with a 1-0 record and a 24-12 lead at halftime against the Arkansas State Red Wolves.

During the first half, sophomore wide receiver Josh Smith got a chance to run the ball on a reverse and completely hurdled over an Arkansas State defender.

Here's another angle of the hurdle.

[YouTube, Vine, h/t Twitter]

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Penn State's Christian Hackenberg Doesn't Seem Happy on Phone with Coach

The Penn State Nittany Lions only have a 7-0 lead over the Akron Zips at halftime, and sophomore quarterback Christian Hackenberg seems frustrated so far.

During a call with his coach, Hackenberg looked upset and appeared to tell his coach, "I don't know what the **** we're doing".

[Vine, h/t Adam Lefkoe]

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Sooners' Julian Wilson Destroys Tulsa WR with Huge Hit, Celebrates Appropriately

The Oklahoma Sooners are having no problem dominating the Tulsa Golden Hurricane thanks to big plays on both sides of the ball, including this massive hit.

During the second quarter, senior cornerback Julian Wilson completely leveled Tulsa wide receiver Derek Patterson, then proceeded with an appropriate celebration after such a big play.

[Vine, h/t Twitter

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Western Illinois' Bonehead Kickoff Play Results in Safety for Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Badgers were already huge favorites in their Week 2 game against the Western Illinois Leathernecks, and plays like this aren't going to help the underdogs pull off an upset.

On the opening kickoff, Western Illinois running back Kyle Hammonds bobbled the return, and the ball bounced out of the end zone to the 1-yard line. For some reason, the junior decided to bring the ball back into the end zone and take a knee.

While it was originally ruled a touchback, the call was reversed and Wisconsin was awarded two points for the safety. Here's another angle of the blunder.

[VineYahoo Sports]

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Alabama's Blake Sims Smokes FAU Linebacker with Nasty Juke

The biggest storyline for the Alabama Crimson Tide football team this offseason was figuring out who would take over at quarterback for AJ McCarron: veteran signal-caller Blake Sims or Florida State transfer Jake Coker.

Sims appears to have locked up that spot, and plays like this show why.

GIF: Blake Sims fake/juke http://t.co/jznwVbJZJk

— Marcus (@_MarcusD_) September 6, 2014

During Week 2 of the college football season, Sims smoked FAU senior linebacker David Lozandier with a filthy juke to pick up a nice chunk of yards. In the first quarter alone, Sims racked up two passing touchdowns and a seven-yard rushing score as well.

[Twitter]

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Two ESPN College GameDay Signs Make Embarrassing Mistakes

ESPN College GameDay offers fans a chance to show off their clever wit on national television in the form of picket signs with puns and lighthearted insults.

If you go the insult route, make sure to proofread and double-check your facts. Two fans in Eugene, Oregon, failed to follow that advice in Week 2 of the college football season.

Floyd Mayweather and Bama reading sign pic.twitter.com/t58z6AX2Q2

— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) September 6, 2014

Well this is awkward #GameDaySignspic.twitter.com/2ig7LiVbZO

— Patrick Conn (@DraftCowboys) September 6, 2014

[Twitter, h/t For the Win]

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Best Signs from ESPN's College GameDay Week 2

ESPN's College GameDay is in Eugene, Oregon, this week as the No. 3 Oregon Ducks take on No. 7 Michigan State in a battle that could have College Football Playoff implications.

Here are some of the best fan-made signs, including some that didn't make it on TV.

So far this #GameDaySigns is #winning@CollegeGameDay#GetUp4GameDaypic.twitter.com/tS5gXJ3mgC

— Patrick Wingert (@pwingie) September 6, 2014

#GameDaySignspic.twitter.com/hy5eeSJPPx

— Busted Coverage (@Busted_Coverage) September 6, 2014

#GameDaySigns Part II: pic.twitter.com/R6TJS9J0aI

— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) September 6, 2014

[h/t College Spun]

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College Football Week 2: Live Scores, Highlights and Reaction

Keep it locked here for all the College Football action! 

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Michigan State vs. Oregon: Keys to Victory in Clash Between Spartans and Ducks

In a week where the final game between Michigan and Notre Dame takes place, the biggest matchup on Saturday's college football schedule takes place out west when the Michigan State Spartans head to Autzen Stadium to take on the Oregon Ducks. 

September tends to be a slow time in college football, at least early on. Teams want to get their feet under them and prepare for the more grueling part of the schedule, so seeing a battle between two top-10 teams that play thousands of miles apart locking horns on the second week of the year is fantastic. 

It's also notable because the loser will have a lot of work to do in the coming weeks to keep their hopes for the College Football Playoff alive. With two very distinct styles of play on display Saturday night, we've got the keys to victory for the Spartans and Ducks. 

 

What Michigan State Must Do To Win

You can tell how little respect there is for the Spartans and the Big Ten conference overall by looking at the odds for this game. Despite being ranked seventh in the AP Top 25, Michigan State has been made a 13-point underdog according to Oddsshark.com

No matter what you think about the randomness of a point spread, that margin is blatant disrespect directed at the Spartans. They aren't exactly the same team that won the Big Ten and Rose Bowl last year, but Mark Dantonio has built one of the most physical teams in the country. 

There has been a formula for beating Oregon in recent years, pulled off to perfection by Stanford. The Cardinal have held the Ducks to a total of 34 points in their last two games by slowing things down and keeping that high-octane offense off the field. 

In the 120 minutes of football they have played since 2012, Stanford held the ball for 79 minutes and 39 seconds. You can't score 40 points if you only have the ball for about 20 minutes. 

I use Stanford as an example because Michigan State bears a strong resemblance to David Shaw's team. The Spartans aren't flashy on offense but don't beat themselves, allowing the defense to set them up with good field position. 

Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune put it best when he said the Spartans are just a smart fundamental team: "Michigan State already represents the guts of Big Ten football. The reigning Rose Bowl champions do it the way Bo and Woody devised it. The Spartans huddle before plays. They run the ball and stop the run. They create turnovers. They play smart."

Stopping Marcus Mariota from running is the key to slowing down Oregon's offense. The Heisman hopeful has tremendous ability as a pocket passer, but this offense shines when the read-option is firing on all cylinders. 

Going back to the Stanford games, Mariota threw the ball well with 250 yards and two passing touchdowns last year. On the ground, though, the Cardinal picked him apart to the tune of minus-16 rushing yards. 

Coy Wire of FoxSports.com spoke to former Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason, who took over as head coach at Vanderbilt in January, about the key to stopping Mariota in the read-option:

I talked to Mason about his tactics for stopping Oregon’s read-zone, and he said that one of the keys is to make Mariota hesitate when he makes his read.

...

Mason knew that the QB’s read and decision was determined by the quick decision and action of the unblocked man, so he went against conventional thinking. He told his player NOT to make a quick decision. He told his player to take two steps across the line of scrimmage and then just stop...

Michigan State doesn't have the offensive firepower to win a shootout. Connor Cook is the epitome of a game-managing quarterback. He's not flashy or stylish, completing just 58.7 percent of his passes with 22 touchdowns and six interceptions last year, but does make the right read more often than not. 

Cook also did something Mariota couldn't do last year: Conquer Stanford's defense. He threw for 304 yards against the Cardinal in the Rose Bowl. He will have openings against an Oregon group that thrives on forcing teams into situations where they have to throw the ball deep. 

The easiest way to win a game is by slowing the other team down. Michigan State has the defense to do that. Now it just has to execute the game plan in a hostile environment to pull off the upset. 

 

 

What Oregon Must Do To Win

To use a movie analogy, Michigan State is like a Terrence Malick film. It's slow, contemplative and frustrating at times but never less than fascinating when you get to the end. 

Oregon, on the other hand, is the big summer blockbuster that generates $1 billion at the box office because it's nothing but fast-paced action that tickles your most surface-level senses.

That's not meant to denigrate the work done by former head coach Chip Kelly and current leader Mark Helfrich. Their work has built Oregon into one of the best programs in the country, and sometimes you just want to sit back and watch a really good action movie. 

This is the kind of non-conference test the Ducks should have. Outside of Stanford, the Pac-12 is a finesse conference. No one wants to play physical football when they can recruit the flashy skill players to create big plays in a short amount of time. 

Oregon's defense has to play better than it did last week against South Dakota. You would never know it looking at the 62-13 final score, but the Ducks weren't sharp. 

Andrew Greif of The Oregonian wrote after the game last weekend that the effort on the defensive side of the ball was lacking any discipline. Defensive coordinator Don Pellum is quoted in the recap as saying that consistency was a huge problem:

No one, at least from the sideline ... played great. Just a lot of guys making plays but no one really stood out.

I think if you asked our players most of them would tell you that our intensity, the way we like to shed, throw and go, the way we like to move, it was inconsistent. We're expecting a much faster, dynamic team. At times it showed a little bit but it wasn't consistent and obviously we have to get it consistent.

That has to change against Michigan State. The Spartans don't want to run up and down the field, but they're more than capable of putting together sustained drives with an efficient passing game and the power-running style of senior Jeremy Langford. 

Offensively, Mariota has to be able to make plays from the pocket. One strategy that would be smart for the Ducks to try, at least early on, is play-action passing. Everyone expects the Ducks to try running the ball because they do it as well as any team in the country and have a quarterback capable of breaking a big play with his legs. 

However, there's a reason Mariota is considered one of the top quarterbacks for the 2015 draft class. He can throw the ball around the field and makes great decisions. He's got the arm strength and accuracy to make deep throws. 

Striking early is the best way to take Michigan State out of its comfort zone, because then the Spartans are forced to play catch up with their offense and take more chances down the field. That's not their style and can get them in trouble. 

 

If you want to talk sports, hit me up on Twitter. 


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Oklahoma vs. Tulsa: Live Score and Highlights

Oklahoma 31, Tulsa 0 — Halftime

Game action is now underway between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. ABC and ESPN2 is televising the matchup from Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

Stay tuned here as we provide live analysis and commentary as the action unfolds:

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Florida Atlantic vs. Alabama: Live Score and Highlights

Alabama 31, Florida Atlantic 0—Early 3rd Quarter

The Alabama Crimson Tide were somewhat less than impressive in their Week 1 meeting with West Virginia.  Consequently, Alabama dropped in the B/R Top 25 Poll from preseason No. 3 to No. 7 this week.

How well will the Tide recover today against FAU?

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Akron vs. Penn State: Live Score and Highlights

Penn State 7, Akron 0 — Early 3rd quarter

Game action is now underway between the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Akron Zips. ABC and ESPN2 is televising the matchup from State College, Pennsylvania.

We are watching the game, providing live analysis as the action unfolds:

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